Chauffeur husband, 72, ‘strangled estranged wife, 57, before he hanged himself’

Myrna Kirby and her former partner Terry Kirby
Myrna Kirby and her former partner Terry Kirby

Police suspect a father could have strangled his estranged wife before he hanged himself, it emerged today.

Myrna Kirby, 57, was found dead with her chauffeur husband Terry Kirby, 72, at his bungalow in Cheshunt, Herts., on Friday evening.

It is understood the couple separated around two years ago and Mrs Kirby moved out of the family home and into a flat in Waltham Cross, Herts.

Myrna Kirby and her former partner Terry Kirby
Myrna Kirby and her former partner Terry Kirby

But she is believed to have visited Mr Kirby at the family home on Friday before he killed her, then himself.

Police were called to the house at around 6.30pm on Friday and discovered the two bodies.

Detectives revealed Mr Kirby took his own life by hanging himself.

The cause of death for Mrs Kirby is not yet known, but police are considering believed to be investigating the possibility she was strangled, or killed with drugs.

It is understood investigating officers are waiting for the results of toxicology tests due at the end of the month.

Hertfordshire Constabulary have already confirmed they are not looking for a weapon in connection with the deaths.

Mr and Mrs Kirby’s family paid tribute to the tragic pair as “dedicated and loving parents.”

A statement from the couple’s family, including their children Connie Kirby, 24, and Frederick Kirby, 27, said they are struggling to “comprehend the situation.”

It read: “We are all still trying to come to terms with the shocking and tragic news of what happened last week.

“Our parents always wanted the best for us and were incredibly dedicated and loving.

“We are still trying to comprehend the situation and ask that we can be left alone to grieve in peace at this extremely difficult time.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary are treating Mrs Kirby’s death as murder and say Mr Kirby took his own life.

Detectives say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the killing.

A police spokeswoman said post mortems have been carried out, but refused to be
drawn on the causes of death.

The coroner for Hertfordshire yesterday (Weds) said inquests into the deaths have not been formally opened yet.

DCI Jon Hutchinson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, who is leading the investigation, said: “Detectives are treating the death of Myrna Kirby as murder and the death of Terry Kirby as suicide and are not seeking anyone else in connection with the deaths.

“We are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

A neighbour at the leafy former family home in Cheshunt, Herts., who asked not to be named, said: “The whole family moved into the house, but the wife moved out after about 18 months to two years.

“They had a son and daughter who must be in their 20s now. I heard that his wife had come round on Friday. The neighbour saw her and spoke to her.

“From what I understand he killed her and then took his own life. He was a chauffeur – he has two Mercedes. They owned the house.”

She added: “He was not a very nice man. He caused problems in the neighbourhood.

“He was known to have arguments with people walking past his bungalow. He wasn’t very sociable.

“We had someone from the council round because he didn’t look after his dog – a border collie. He used to tie it up at the back all the time.

“He started being a bad neighbour after the break up of his marriage. I think they had a difficult break-up.

“But he can’t have been that upset about it as he had several other women round.”

Michael Kirby, 41, a relative of Myrna and Terence Kirby, said the family were too upset to comment.

Mr Kirby had been the director of his own high-end chauffeur company for nine years, which Mrs Kirby worked as the business’ secretary for.

Two black Mercedes have been parked in the drive of the bungalow since the deaths.

The couple are believed to have split up around two years ago and Mrs Kirby moved into a flat in Waltham Cross, Herts.

It is not clear whether Mrs Kirby took the couple’s two children Connie Kirby, and Frederick Kirby with her.

A close friend and neighbour of the Kirby family, who asked not to be named, said: “It is a tragic incident and their children are very upset.

“I do not feel that it would be appropriate for us to say anything.”


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